Northwestern University: Dittmar Gallery exhibition depicts art and drawing as places of reinvention

Artist Ambrin Ling explores art as a mediator between individuals and their worlds in an upcoming exhibition.

“You’ve Got Somewhere Else to Be” is open through March 18 at Dittmar Memorial Gallery. The gallery is located inside Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

An opening reception will take place the evening of Feb. 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Dittmar Gallery. All reception attendees are required to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past 24 hours.

Ling’s art is mutable and unfinished. She describes her art as a process of ongoing formation and not bound to any medium. Her paintings, sculptures and installations function as forms of drawing, with paper being the material constant.

As drawing focuses on touch and traces, Ling said it serves as the primary medium representing people’s relationship to the world. Ling brings together several approaches to drawing in her exhibition, including paint and graphite to unravel Renaissance and American landscape paintings.

“You’ve Got Somewhere Else To Be” depicts art and drawing as places of reinvention with special significance amid a pandemic and social upheavals of the present day that reveal that individuality to be shaped by and shape perceptions of power, value, labor and humanity.

With an interest in movement, Ling uses sweeping brushwork and flowing lines to depict both the slippage of and friction between humans, plants, land and manmade products. She delves into themes such as gender, race, labor and belonging.

A Chicago-based artist and educator, Ling began a master’s degree in the humanities at the University of Chicago in fall 2021. She is studying race, culture and politics as well as women and gender studies. She also holds degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Carleton College in Minnesota.

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